Tag Archives: blackberry

Persistence Pays

oak log sprout DSCN0815May 16, 2014

The photo shows new sprouting on this oak log that was cut last fall. It was a reject from the mushroom inoculation event because it was too small. It’s still alive!

That’s persistent. Scientists please add to the conversation, but one explanation is that the cut wood forms a new meristem, which allows the growth of new organs (leaves, flowers, roots).

Our fine orchard volunteers have also shown great persistence recently. Let’s review what they have accomplished:

1) The blackberry patch is gone! It took four work parties and a lot of wrestling and forking to get at those roots.

2) We finally finished our Community Design Grant and our report was accepted. Please celebrate those volunteers who put in more than 20 hours toward administrative work for that grant: Justin Hansen, Joan Davis, Nancy Helm, Dana Spindler, Max Menchaca Dean Wenick, Ruth Callard and Michelle Perham.

3) The new construction grant application has been submitted. After much searching for cost estimates, talking with other garden representatives, and appealing for volunteer labor and material commitments, we are seeking $43,000 to add a water system, a shed with water catchment, garden plots and a crushed rock path, including ADA features. How wonderful it will be to keep supplies at the orchard.

4) We finally have WSDOT review for many of the design features that the public desired. It will still take many more months and possible permit costs but we should know soon which features we could add to serve the neighborhood.

Thank you to everyone who had a part in the success of the last 12 months.

Sun, May 18, 2-4pm, Work Party
Soft rakes needed.
Sat, Jun 7, 2-4pm, Work Party
Sun, Jun 15, 2-4pm, Work Party

Should we be awarded another matching grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, we will likely begin construction in September. Your volunteer time is worth $20/hour toward the total $43,000 match for the 12-month construction period, beginning August or September this year.

Any volunteer hours put in from May 5 forward count toward our grant match. Please keep us up to date on your volunteer hours. You can email them to Joan or Ruth or add them to the Volunteer page on the website. Every hour counts!

If you have specialized skills to donate, we can count them at market rate per hour.

Don’t forget, if you work for an organization that matches your hours with cash donations, we will doubly benefit. Examples of such organizations, and links for employees, are:
Century Link

If you shop for orchard materials or supplies this year, know that you can print out our P-Patch Trust 501(c)(3) letter from the Volunteer page on our website and take it with you when you ask for a non-profit discount.


photo 211 Jap cone bestThe Japanese Pine was flush with pine cones last week. The cones are only1/2″ tall!

The Bees Begin

April 2, 2014

Draping over the corner of the orchard is a giant weeping willow. It was in0317114 willow blossom Justin photo22 full bloom during the March 16 work party, with innumerable sparkling yellow catkins. The willow is an important source of pollen for bees because it blooms early in the year. The Temperate Climate Permaculture website has all you want to know about this valuable plant that offers many products and services.

Kimberly October2012 048Meet Kimberly Christensen, a friend of the orchard and a friend of the bees! Kimberly recently won a grant award from Waste Management Think Green for adding pollinator pathways to the orchard site. Kimberly has been inspired by The Pollinator Pathway Project.

She is busy scouting out different sources for good pollinator plants. During the work party, she planted 6 Ribes (flowering currants), 10 Fragaria (native strawberries) and 10 Kinnikinnick and seeded Phacelia. You will notice her fine Tulip sm WP_20140401_005 bestwork in the middle of the orchard near the blueberries. While we wait for those plants to grow, the bees can hover over the delicate species tulips.

You will also notice that we are digging into the task of clearing more blackberries. We are working on the big patch to make way for more plants and a tool shed.

031714 blackberry work photo 26 smWe can really use your help during the next four work parties. We have light tasks and harder tasks. We provide tools but a large garden fork is very helpful. Thanks to Nancy H, we will host EPA volunteers on Friday, April 18, in celebration of Earth Day. All events are listed on the calendar page. Contribute some time now while the ground is soft and your reward will be time off in the summer!

By the way, I have not had any bites on the treats offered at work parties. What do I need to bring? M&Ms? Maybe one of you has a better idea.

Sat, Apr 5, 2-4pm, Work Party
Fri, Apr 18, 9:30-11:30am
Meet some volunteers from the EPA
Sun, Apr 20, 2-4pm, Work Party
Sat, May 3, 2-4pm, Work Party
Come for any amount of time that works for you.

Also, we are looking for an experienced green builder who would oversee the design of a tool shed of mostly recycled materials. WSDOT mandates special requirements so this builder needs to be open-minded and courageous!

A big thank you to Nancy M, Dana S, and Michelle P for recent grant application efforts!